Why ‘Fort Liberty’? Leaders explain why they pushed for Fort Bragg’s proposed new name

July 7, 2022
By Jay Price


WUNC North Carolina public radio logo

When a federal commission recommended new names for nine Army bases bearing those of Confederate generals, one immediately stood out.

Fort Bragg would become “Fort Liberty,” while the other eight bases would all be renamed for people — heroes and noted military leaders.

Liberty hadn’t even appeared on a short list of 87 potential names the commission released in March, after filtering more than 3,600 it had gathered during a year of site visits, community meetings and online submissions.

Among the questions that raised: How had Liberty moved to the top of the list? And why was a broad, lofty concept chosen rather than the name of one of the many heroes who have served at Fort Bragg? …

Laurel Sutton co-founded the California-based naming and branding company Catchword and is president of the American Names Society, a scholarly group devoted to the study of names.

“If you’re naming it after a person, then that person turns out not to be good, that’s a big deal,” she said. “But generic renamings of things are fine, they’re middle of the road, nobody can really object too much to it. It’s not a thing that people are going to be celebrating in the street about, but it’s fine.” …


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